Described as "especially glorious... ethereal" by Whole Note, and "a highlight of the concert" by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, the music of Canadian composer Tawnie Olson has been performed on four continents by a wide range of ensembles and individual musicians, including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Land's End Ensemble, Duo Fiolûtröniq, Parthenia, New Morse Code, the Wanmu Percussion Trio, the McGill, University of Calgary, and University of Toronto Percussion Ensembles, bassoonists Nadina Mackie Jackson and Rachael Elliott, percussionists Shawn Mativetsky and Ian David Rosenbaum, harpsichordist Katelyn Clark, clarinetists Louise Campbell and Paul Roe, the BBC Singers, the Canadian Chamber Choir, the Toronto Chamber Choir, the choir of Trinity Wall Street, the Norfolk Festival Choir, the Yale Camerata, and NOTUS: Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She has won awards from the SOCAN foundation, the Guelph Chamber Choir/Musica Viva, and Iron Composer. Her composition Scel lem duib, for chamber chorus and harp, was one of three works selected (out of 170 submissions) for publication in the National Collegiate Choral Organization's 2013 choral music series.
Recent projects include Three Songs on Poems by Lorri Neilsen Glenn, for soprano and piano, commissioned by the Canadian Art Song Project for Magali Simard-Galdès, Lyonesse, commissioned by Mount Holyoke College and the Women's Philharmonic for the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra, Tian Hui Ng, conductor, No Capacity to Consent, for six vocal soloists and chamber ensemble, commissioned by Brian Bartoldus and Third Practice with assistance from New Music USA, Glimmer, Gossamer, Glint, for orchestra, commissioned by the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as part of the prize for winning the 2015 Iron Composer Competition, Resurgam, for carillon, commissioned by the Yale Guild of Carillonneurs, and Meadowlark, for marimba and fixed media, composed for Ian David Rosenbaum. Her music has been commercially recorded by the Canadian Chamber Choir, bassoonist Rachael Elliott, and oboist Catherine Lee. In 2014 Shawn Mativetsky issued Something to Say as a digital release, and in November 2016 Meadowlark will be released on Ian David Rosenbaum's album "Memory Palace" (VIA Records).
Olson holds a doctorate in music composition from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, an Artist Diploma from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary. She is an adjunct professor of composition at the Hartt School of Music.